Dusty collapse: dust in protostellar disc formation

Francesco Lovascio

Planet formation and star formation are deeply connected; planets must form in the protostellar disc, largely from the same material the star is formed from. Recent observations have also suggested that planet formation may be occurring earlier than previously thought. Understanding the star formation process, and crucially the dynamics of solid grains in this process, is therefore key to understanding the coupled processes of planet and star formation. We ran 3D adaptive-mesh refinement radiative MHD simulations of dusty protostellar collapses using the RAMSES hydrodynamics code, to study the dynamics of dust and gas in forming protostellar discs. Our results show only mild dust decoupling in the protostellar disc, but we do observe substantial pressure substructure and disc asymmetry linked to disc accretion. We believe this substructure can lead to dust decoupling and eventually planet formation as the disc evolves.